The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic affected not only the physical and emotional health of human beings but also cats. Restrictions put into effect during the pandemic resulted in changes in the daily routine of pet cats and the number of new pet owners. The current study aimed to evaluate the diseases induced by stress in cats, such as gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, and urinary tract diseases. To this end, the study evaluated the pre-pandemic (n: 52) (March 2019-Feb 2020) and pandemic (n: 95) (March 2020-March 2021) diagnosis data of cats (n: 147) with gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, and urinary system diseases admitted to the Internal Medicine Department of Hatay Mustafa Kemal University Veterinary Health, Practice and Research Center between March 2019 and March 2021. There was no statistically significant difference between the sexes of the cats admitted to the clinic in both periods. There was a significant change in cat breeds during the pandemic, except for the mixed-breed and Ankara breeds. The age (mean ± SEM) of the cats admitted to the clinic was 30.14 ± 4.24 months before the pandemic and 30.45 ± 3.43 during the pandemic. Distributions of gastrointestinal diseases in the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods were determined as 35.7% and 64.3%, respectively. During the pandemic, the number of gastritis cases was lower than that in the pre-pandemic period, and the number of gastroenteritis cases was higher than that in the pre-pandemic period. Except for gastrointestinal diseases (P <.05), a statistical difference between the periods was not found. The changes, especially influencing the daily routine of cats and causing stress, seem to have had significant effects on the gastrointestinal health of domestic cats.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; cat; gastroenteritis; pandemic; stress.
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